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Sept. 10, 2006

Recap | Final Stats | Notes | Photo Gallery

South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier

Opening comments:
“I can’t stand watching our offense line up right now. We had some problems. We had a few drives here and there, but we kept stopping ourselves. We should be playing a lot better and we’re not. We’ll make some changes; I’ll announce them later. I just can’t watch what we’re doing now. If it means playing a bunch of freshmen, that’s fine. I’m tired of watching this. We can’t get it going. I take some of the blame. I called a lousy game, so we’ll try to get better.”

“The pass protection was pretty decent. We had some penalties and some things happen. Give Georgia credit. We only had the ball 24 times in the first half. A couple of drives we got close. We had our chances, but we’re just stupid right now.”

On junior quarterback Blake Mitchell:
“Blake did some good things and some so-so things other times. Blake hurt his hand. He sprained his right thumb, so he may be out for a while, but I don’t really know.”

On the play of Georgia:
“They were good. They played about what we thought they’d play. They don’t change a lot and have good coaches. I’m just mad we stopped ourselves.”

On what he thought South Carolina’s chances were to defeat Georgia: “I thought we had a chance to play with them. The defensive coaches are upset we didn’t stop the run. Georgia ran the ball really well.”

On the South Carolina offense: “I didn’t call a very good one. You throw the ball down to the 10-yard line and start running. I thought the short-yardage play would work, but we’ve gotten smashed on it this year.

“We just weren’t out there that much. It didn’t work out. We’ve got to make some changes and we will. I’m blaming myself. It’s up to me as the offensive coach to make some changes. We’re not going to play like this. We’ll change the offense a little bit. Hopefully next week I’ll be able to talk more and we’ll get up and play.”

On the status of junior defensive tackle Marque Hall: “He’s got a sprained knee, but hopefully it’s not terrible. Hopefully he’ll be better next week.”

USC Player Quotes vs. Georgia

Syvelle Newton
“We are a unit together. We had a couple shots that we could have capitalized on some drives. I think it’s frustrating as a whole unit. We have to work harder to get better, make adjustments and we’ll be fine. (On Coach Spurrier making a decision to make changes): We have to go with whatever he says. I feel Blake is a great quarterback. We are gonna bounce back offensively. We have a lot of improving to do before we really get into the schedule.”

“The defense played a great game. We have to help them out.”

“This Georgia team was smaller than the ones I’ve played in the past here. They are smaller, but they are still great. No matter how small, they play great.”

Jasper Brinkley
“There are gonna be a lot of changes. Coach Spurrier told us he would get the best 11 out there. We wanna win.”

Fred Bennett
“We have to buckle down. The offense struggled a bit tonight. They wanna win. We love to play the game. We love it. As one of the leaders on defense we have to buckle down. We have to work on everything. When you work on everything you get better.”

Cory Boyd
“There is nothing wrong. We have to come together from the first minute the ball snaps. We have to stay together. We have to play with more intensity. We are still getting use to the new game clock and rules. We have to look at the game film and move onto next week. The defense did a great job. Georgia lived up to their hype – greatness – as being SEC Champions last year.”

“We are gonna work hard this week and get ready for the next game. (On Spurrier’s changes): We have to live up to what he wants us to do. Football is a game of the ball going this way and that way. The ball didn’t go out way today. We are young. We have to capitalize when we have the ball. We have to give our defense a rest.”

“We have the talent. We have to get the intensity because we have a lot of games left. We just have to come on strong. It’s not all about the leaders on the offense – it’s also about making the tempo. It’s about chemistry.”

Sidney Rice
“We have to watch film, find the problems and make changes. Being shut-out is not fun. Losing is not fun. Nobody on this team expected us to be shut out tonight. We didn’t come here to do that.

“I’m gonna give it all I’ve got. The offense had opportunities, we just aren’t executing. I support coach’s decisions 100%.”

Blake Mitchell
“We have to cut down on our stupid penalties. We have to get something going when it’s 2 and 8 and then it’s 2 and 15 because of a penalty. We have to get to the ball quicker. The new play-clock is something and we have to work to establish a good tempo.

“We had our chances. We have people open. We just didn’t execute. (On the changes by Coach Spurrier): That’s coach’s decision. Whatever he thinks is best for the team is what is best for the team. (On Blake worrying about being demoted): I just go out and play as hard as I can. If I’m not getting the job done then you might need to make a change. We need to get a better tempo. I’m the leader and I gotta get the guys moving out there.

“I feel like our line is good enough to run up the middle (on being inside the five yard line and running the ball three times). We are good enough to push one in there. It’s frustrating to get down there and not put points on the board. We had our chances. We had plenty of chances, we just couldn’t do it.”

Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt

On Georgia’s defensive play:
“One of the things we talked about last night with our team was to try and honor Coach Russell. The way to truly honor him as a football player, especially a defensive player is to play like a junkyard dog and that is what our guys did. Of course Erik Russell made that saying famous while he was at Georgia, and we talked about trying to play that way.”

“In order to get a shut out, a lot of good things have to happen…no big punt returns, no big kick returns, no big interceptions for touchdowns, those types of things. The entire team has to play relatively well to get a shutout. And we had to play some fantastic goal line defense today.”

On starting QB Joe Tereshinski’s injury:
“Unfortunately, Joe Tereshinski suffered an ankle sprain. We are not sure how bad it is, but it was bad enough where he couldn’t go back. We will know more tomorrow.”

On backup QB Matt Stafford and his play:
“I thought Stafford did a nice job considering the circumstances. He played better in the first half then in the second, but part of that was my fault and not calling the game as well. We put him in some tough situations that made it hard to just throw the ball away. He will learn though. Overall, I thought he handled the game pretty well. After getting his feet wet here, I think he will only get better in time.”

On Matt Stafford and why he was the backup today:
“He played well last week and that gave him a little bit of edge in my mind. He practiced well. He did some really nice things in some drills we ran last week. That kind of iced it for me.”

Georgia Player Quotes

Freshman Quarterback Matthew Stafford

On the overall game:
“The important thing is that we came out with a victory. I’m sure it wasn’t my best game, but I’m sure it was one of our defense’s best games.”

On having to enter the game unexpectedly:
“It was definitely fun to get out there and experience it all. We had the ups and downs today, you know we had some long completions… but we just battled.”

“That wasn’t too hard; our coaches prepare us so well to play.”

Senior Linebacker Tony Taylor

On substitute QB Matthew Stafford:
“We rallied behind him [Stafford] 100%.”

On shutting out Steve Spurrier:
“It’s a big thing for us. It is something that we can build on.”

On Junior Defensive End Charles Johnson:
“On the goal line he was the first person to step-up and get everyone motivated, and everyone just kind of rallied behind him.”

Senior Linebacker Danny Verdun Wheeler

On playing against the Brinkley brothers:
“It was great. We had fun. I’m just so proud of them guys; everything that they’ve accomplished, everything that they’ve come through, now to be at South Carolina. We talked everyday this week, I mean we talk all the time anyway, but it was just great to seem them guys playing again, on the same level that I am.”

Senior Tight End Martrez Milner

On his and the team’s performance this season:
“I’m more focused this season. It seems like a lot of people doubt me and this team, that we aren’t good without (D.J. Shockley) Shock and other guys, but we just believe in ourselves and that anything is possible.”